Italian food? Pizza?
Does anyone know of any good, authentic Italian food in the LA area? As soon as my plane hits the ground in Philly, I start mapping out my food plan. Will it be a meatball sandwich first, or a hoagie, pizza, or ravioli......!
Well, for good authentic Italian-American food (which is what you're describing) I go to Mazzarino's in Sherman Oaks; for mid-way between Ital-Am and Italian I go to Spumoni in Sherman Oaks; for high-end Italian, there's a number of places in Brentwood along San Vicente that are very, very good.
As for pizza, I've concluded after seven years on this board that even if a shop were to secretly import all the ingredients flown overnight from New York or Philly, even if they had an oven dismantled and shipped brick by brick (or whatever the case may be), even if they kidnapped the pizzamaker, still people from the East Coast would moan about how there's no good pizza in LA. I'm convinced that it's all bound up in nostalgia or even just the surroundings -- can't eat a meatball sandwich or pizza unless you're surrounded by row houses or brownstones.
That little vent aside, my candidates for the closest approximation are Albano's (on Melrose, and on Ventura in Studio City), D'Amore's (several locations in the Valley) or Ameci (multiple locations throughout LA).
We've had places try to fly in the ingredients -- the same bread, the same cheese -- and the general consensus from hard-to-please East Coast types is a resounding "meh..."
It's the atmosphere... you can't drink ouzo in San Francisco, and you can't eat New York pizza in Los Angeles.
Use the chowhound search and you will come up with thousands of comments on both subjects. The pizza question comes up a couple times a month.
Maybe you'll want to try the new Nancy Silverton/Mario Batali pizza restaurant:
641 N Highland Ave (Cross Street: Melrose Avenue)
Los Angeles, CA 90038View Map
You gotta live on some of the world's best Bahn Mi, Tortas/Cemitas, Clayudas and Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings) while here, and then appreciate Philly for all the things we just don't have.
If you can't make it try these:
Bay Cities/Al Gelato/Mike Philly Cheese Steak -- meatball subs, hoagies
Mozza/Casa Bianca - Pizza
Yummy Baked Ravioli/Lasagna - ???????